Your search found 22 Results

  1. 1
    331969

    State of world population 2009. Facing a changing world: women, population and climate.

    United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]

    New York, New York, UNFPA, 2009. 94 p.

    Women bear the disproportionate burden of climate change, but have so far been largely overlooked in the debate about how to address problems of rising seas, droughts, melting glaciers and extreme weather, concludes The State of World Population 2009, released by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The poor are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the majority of the 1.5 billion people living on $1 a day or less are women. The poor are more likely to depend on agriculture for a living and therefore risk going hungry or losing their livelihoods when droughts strike, rains become unpredictable and hurricanes move with unprecedented force. The poor tend to live in marginal areas, vulnerable to floods, rising seas and storms. The report draws attention to populations in low-lying coastal areas that are vulnerable to climate change and calls on governments to plan ahead to strengthen risk reduction, preparedness and management of disasters and address the potential displacement of people. Research cited in the report shows that women are more likely than men to die in natural disasters-including those related to extreme weather -- with this gap most pronounced where incomes are low and status differences between men and women are high. The State of World Population 2009 argues that the international community's fight against climate change is more likely to be successful if policies, programmes and treaties take into account the needs, rights and potential of women. The report shows that investments that empower women and girls -- particularly education and health -- bolster economic development and reduce poverty and have a beneficial impact on climate. Girls with more education, for example, tend to have smaller and healthier families as adults. Women with access to reproductive health services, including family planning, have lower fertility rates that contribute to slower growth in greenhouse-gas emissions in the long run.
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  2. 2
    325833

    Rural population, development and the environment 2007. [Wallchart].

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2008 Mar. [2] p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/275)

    The wall chart on Rural Population, Development and the Environment 2007 displays information on various aspects of population, environment and development, including changes in rural populations and their relationship with development and the environment. The wall chart include information for 228 countries or areas as well as data at the regional and sub-regional levels. (author's)
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  3. 3
    325831

    Urban population, development and the environment 2007 [Wallchart].

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2008 Mar. [2] p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/274)

    The wall chart on Urban Population, Development and the Environment 2007 displays information on various aspects of population, environment and development, including changes in urban populations and their relationship with development and the environment. The wall chart include information for 228 countries or areas as well as data at the regional and sub-regional levels. (excerpt)
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  4. 4
    293699

    Population / development / environment trends in a globalized context: challenges for the 21st century.

    Martine G

    Genus. 2005 Jul-Dec; 61(3-4):247-278.

    This paper begins with a brief review of ongoing trends in development patterns and population dynamics, with emphasis on the impacts of globalization. This assessment suggests that, in the foreseeable future, the most pertinent PDE questions will relate to the distribution of population over space and leads to the question - how can we best address the issue of environment and space? The sustainable use of space is posited here as a helpful approach and its usage is exemplified with respect to the main PDE problem of the 21st century, namely - urban growth. Finally, the paper addresses the question - what are the environmental implications of unparalleled growth in towns and cities, and what issues need to be addressed in this connection? (excerpt)
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  5. 5
    285378
    Peer Reviewed

    Effect of irrigation and large dams on the burden of malaria on a global and regional scale.

    Keiser J; Castro MC; Maltese MF; Bos R; Tanner M

    American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2005; 72(4):392-406.

    Human-made ecologic transformations have occurred at an unprecedented rate over the past 50 years. Prominent among them are water resource development projects. An estimated 40,000 large dams and 800,000 small dams have been built, and 272 million hectares of land are currently under irrigation worldwide. The establishment and operation of water projects has had a history of facilitating a change in the frequency and transmission dynamics of malaria, but analyses of these environmental risk factors are sparse. Here, we present a comprehensive review of studies that assessed the impact of irrigation and dam building on malaria prevalence or incidence, stratified by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) sub-regions of the world, and link these studies with the latest statistics on disability adjusted life years, irrigated agriculture, and large dams. We also present estimates of the population at risk due to proximity to irrigation schemes and large dam reservoirs. In WHO sub-regions 1 and 2, which have 87.9% of the current global malaria burden, only 9.4 million people are estimated to live near large dams and irrigation schemes. In contrast, the remaining sub-regions concentrate an estimated 15.3 million people near large dams and up to 845 million near irrigation sites, while here only 12.1% of the global malaria burden is concentrated. Whether an individual water project triggers an increase in malaria transmission depends on the contextual determinants of malaria, including the epidemiologic setting, socioeconomic factors, vector management, and health seeking behavior. We conclude that in unstable malaria endemic areas, integrated malaria control measures, coupled with sound water management, are mandatory to mitigate the current burden of malaria in locations near irrigation or dam sites. (author's)
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  6. 6
    182241
    Peer Reviewed

    The relationship of long term global temperature change and human fertility.

    Fisch H; Andrews HF; Fisch KS; Golden R; Liberson G

    Medical Hypotheses. 2003 Jul; 61(1):21-22.

    According to the United Nations, global fertility has declined in the last century as reflected by a decline in birth rates. The earth’s surface air temperature has increased considerably and is referred to as global warming. Since changes in temperature are well known to influence fertility we sought to determine if a statistical relationship exists between long-term changes in global air temperatures and birth rates. The most complete and reliable birth rate data in the 20th century was available in 19 industrialized countries. Using bivariate and multiple regression analysis, we compared yearly birth rates from these countries to global air temperatures from 1900 to 1994. A common pattern of change in birth rates was noted for the 19 industrialized countries studied. In general, birth rates declined markedly throughout the century except during the baby boom period of approximately 1940 to 1964. An inverse relationship was found between changes in global temperatures and birth rates in all 19 countries. Controlling for the linear yearly decline in birth rates over time, this relationship remained statistically significant for all the 19 countries in aggregate and in seven countries individually (p <0:05). Conclusions. The results of our analyses are consistent with the underlying premise that temperature change affects fertility and suggests that human fertility may have been influenced by change in environmental temperatures. (author's)
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  7. 7
    182036

    Sermons based on Buddhist precepts: a response to HIV / AIDS.

    Punyakamo S; Vieratammapiban; Visabunsatid; Supakritpayut; Nivittbunyakeart

    [Bangkok, Thailand], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], South East Asia HIV and Development Project, 2000 Dec. [4], 16 p.

    Religion plays a major role in our life as we learn to cope with birth, diseases, aging and death. The Buddhist monks in Mae Chan, in witnessing the devastation to their own families, relatives and friends in the community, decided to mobilize the religious sector for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. These beautiful sermons are written by the monks based on the Buddhist precepts and are an excellent example of the religious sector’s contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support from its own unique strength and the role in society which complement existing health sectors’ approach for a holistic community response. We are grateful to the monks for giving us the permission to translate these sermons from Lanna Thai to English. We hope to mobilize additional resources in order to translate it into other languages such as Laotian, Khmer, Viet Namese and Chinese to spread the words to people who can heed the preaching. (excerpt)
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  8. 8
    179470

    Public health and the Persian Gulf War.

    Hoskins E

    In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 254-278.

    War has always been disastrous for civilians, and the Persian Gulf War was no exception. Yet the image that has been perpetuated in the West is that the Gulf War was somehow "clean" and fought with "surgical precision" in a manner that minimized civilian casualties. However, massive wartime damage to Iraq's civilian infrastructure led to a breakdown in virtually all sectors of society. Economic sanctions further paralyzed Iraq's economy and made any meaningful post-war reconstruction all but impossible. Furthermore, the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War unleashed internal political events that have been responsible for further suffering and countless human fights violations. The human impact of these events is incalculable. In 1996, more than five years after the end of the war, the vast majority of Iraqi civilians still subsist in a state of extreme hardship, in which health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and other basic services are minimal. As many as 500,000 children are believed to have died since the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, largely due to malnutrition and a resurgence of diarrheal and vaccine- preventable diseases. Health services are barely functioning due to shortages of supplies and equipment. Medicines, including insulin, antibiotics, and anesthetics, are in short supply. The psychological impact of the war has had a damaging and lasting effect on many of Iraq's estimated eight million children. (excerpt)
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  9. 9
    181647
    Peer Reviewed

    Health impact assessment in international development assistance: the World Bank experience.

    Mercier J

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2003 Jun; 81(6):461-462.

    Large infrastructure construction and rehabilitation works are the obvious priorities for integrating health impact assessment into the environmental assessment process, because of the specific risks generated by the sudden surge in human presence from migratory workers and because of the intrinsic health and safety hazards associated with construction. However, other sectors may also generate serious health hazards, for example, tourism development, an activity which is typically funded by the World Bank’s sister organization the International Finance Corporation (IFC). (excerpt)
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  10. 10
    126969

    Environmentally-Induced Population Displacements and Environmental Impacts Resulting from Mass Migrations, International Symposium, Geneva, 21-24 April 1996.

    United Nations. High Commissioner for Refugees; International Organization for Migration; Refugee Policy Group

    Geneva, Switzerland, International Organization for Migration, 1996. 128 p.

    This report provides a summary of proceedings and papers presented at the 1996 UN Conference on the Interactions between Mass Migrations and Environmental Impacts. The conference was organized and funded by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, and the Refugee Policy Group. The conference aimed to determine how to break the mutually reinforcing cycle of environmental damage and mass migration. The discussions focused on the development of policy guidelines that would minimize detrimental impacts and designation of responsible entities for initiating and coordinating action. There was a consensus on a Statement of Principles for preventing and mitigating environmentally induced population displacement and for addressing the negative environmental consequences of mass migration. The Statement of Principles focused on descriptions of the problems and a framework for action for environmentally induced population displacements, environmental impacts of mass migrations, and breaking the cycle. The Summary of Proceedings included the warning in the closure statement that environmental degradation was an international and not a local problem that was linked to political strife, conflict over natural resources, and international political arrangements. The 13 background papers are summarized. Background papers focused on issues such as satellite monitoring and aerial photography, assorted case studies, failures in settlement planning and shelter management, remote sensing and geographic information systems technology, and approaches that mitigate the environmental impact of refugees. Environmental changes are charted for natural causes and man-made causes by time frame of the impact, scale and intensity of impact, predictability, reversibility, and main organizations involved. These two charts help match policy options to the problem.
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  11. 11
    168291

    U.N. predicts more harm to environment by 2032.

    Revkin AC

    New York Times on the Web. 2002 May 23; [2] p..

    A UN report claims that although the world has seen significant environmental progress in recent years, expansion of cities, destruction of forest, erosion of fields and rising demand for water are likely to threaten human and ecological health in many countries for at least a generation. Even under scenarios in which environmental protection becomes a high priority, the report says, most regions of the world will still see their biological diversity and coastal ecosystems badly damaged by 2032. An important cause is noted to be the accelerating growth of vast, poor, and largely unplanned cities in developing countries, most of them near coastlines.
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  12. 12
    159345
    Peer Reviewed

    Refugees and environmental change in West Africa: the role of institutions.

    Black R; Sessay MF

    Journal of International Development. 1998; 10:699-713.

    This paper examines the relationship between forced migration and environmental change in West Africa, through an analysis of the changing institutional context through which resource use and management decisions are made. The paper draws on the work of Leach and Mearns (1991), who have highlighted how institutions shape the ways in which different groups of people gain access to and control over resources, and in doing so, affect environmental outcomes. This approach is used to illuminate two apparently paradoxical case studies of refugee influxes in Senegal and the Republic of Guinea, where despite significant increases in the population of host areas, degradation of natural resources has remained limited. It is argued that flexible local institutions have been able to adapt to the presence of refugees, providing regulated access to natural resources, and so reducing destructive behavior. (author's)
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  13. 13
    156570

    Health and urbanization in developing countries.

    World Health Organization [WHO]

    In: Population distribution and migration. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population Distribution and Migration, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 18-22 January 1993. Convened in preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994, compiled by United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. New York, New York, United Nations, 1998. 364-9. (ST/ESA/SER.R/133)

    This paper discusses the health risks that urbanization has brought to developing countries. Urban dwellers, particularly children, women, and elderly people, are vulnerable to health threats associated with overcrowding, pollution, and a host of familiar urban problems that include mental and physical diseases, homelessness, drug abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases as well as violence and social alienation. The evidence available indicates that poor populations have higher rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality and morbidity. Environmental conditions influence certain health risks. The environment exposes children to a high risk of diarrheal diseases and parasitic diseases such as Chaga's disease, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and schistosomiasis. Moreover, urban malaria has become an urgent problem in countries where the disease is endemic. In addition, there is a high risk of accidents and injuries caused by unsafe and overcrowded transport systems. The impact of these problems on the health of urban dwellers requires an assessment of environmental health services and a revitalized role of public health in solving them. The WHO continues to play a role in the development of the concept of adopting a holistic and integrated approach to improving the health status of the population.
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  14. 14
    153482

    [Demographic pressure, populating modes and impact on the environment in Morocco] Pression demographique, modes de peuplement et impact sur l'environnement au Maroc.

    Yaakoubd AI

    In: Third African Population Conference, Durban, South Africa, 6-10 December 1999. The African Population in the 21st Century. / Troisieme Conference Africaine sur la Population, La Population Africaine au 21e Siecle. Volume I, [compiled by] Union for African Population Studies. Dakar, Senegal, Union for African Population Studies, 1999. 531-44.

    The author considers the general problem of relations between population and the environment in developing countries. The following aspects of these relations are examined for the case of Morocco: population pressure and water resources; rural migration and the degradation of urban environments; population pressure upon the environment; and pressure upon land, overexploitation of soil, and deforestation. Relevant international accords to which Morocco has committed are noted. Morocco’s involvement in international accords on population and the environment includes participation in the UN Conference on the Environment, the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit on Social Development, and the World Conference on Women. At the regional level, the Tunis Action Plan marked the beginning of greater country effort in the Maghreb to coordinate measures to resolve common problems and create conditions to foster sustainable and ecologically viable development. Although the pace of population growth in Morocco has slowed in recent years, ecological threats remain real and sometimes full of negative consequences. These problems are understood and discussed at the governmental level, but better measures could still be developed and put into action.
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  15. 15
    148856

    Evaluating environmental impacts: the process of unnatural selection.

    Winpenny JT

    In: Evaluation and development: proceedings of the 1994 World Bank conference, edited by Robert Picciotto and Ray C. Rist. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1995. 105-15. (World Bank Operations Evaluation Study)

    This paper describes how the environmental impacts of projects are evaluated, analyzes why current procedures are unsatisfactory, and considers actions that can be taken, with some implications for development practitioners. It focuses on environmental projects (EPs) rather than policies. For the purpose of project evaluation, projects that seek to benefit the environment is distinguished from those with other purposes that have environmental side effects. The main approaches to performance evaluation of EPs are ex post economic appraisal, subjective scoring methods, and impact evaluation. Although evaluation has traditionally been biased toward the use of economic approaches, economic approaches in the last two decades have been complemented by the use of other methods. The reasons behind the flawed current evaluation procedures are discussed under the following headings: appraisal optimism, environmental astigmatism, methodological weaknesses, and evaluation biases. Moreover, this paper states that appraisal of EPs should be improved by: 1) more economic valuation of environmental costs and benefits; 2) inclusion of depletion premia in projects entailing the use of natural resources; 3) fuller treatment of risk and uncertainty; 4) anticipation of events that might seriously affect the project's future performance; and 5) identification of benefit and performance indicators to be monitored. This paper also discusses ways to revise evaluation criteria and procedures as well as redesigning projects.
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  16. 16
    146282

    Environment and security in an international context. Executive summary report.

    Lietzmann KM; Vest GD

    WW ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SECURITY PROJECT REPORT. 1999 Summer; (5):34-48.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), its Member States, and other security organizations are increasingly concerned with nontraditional threats to security, including the consequences of environmental change. This report summarizes the relationship between environmental change and security at the regional, international, and global levels. To support the development of conclusions and recommendations, the Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society Pilot Study developed methodologies and approaches for analyzing the relationship of environmental change and security and prioritizing its key elements. These methodologies include the quantitative and qualitative resource degradation, the syndrome-based approach, and the integrated risk assessment approach. Moreover, the Pilot Study has provided a multilateral forum for cooperation, exchange, and dialogue among the environmental, development, foreign, and security policy communities.
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  17. 17
    138255

    An action plan for population, development and the environment.

    Gelbard AH

    WW ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SECURITY PROJECT REPORT. 1996 Spring; (2):18-27.

    Despite a 30-year decline in the rate of population growth, population momentum remains responsible for the largest annual increase in population ever seen, and future population growth will be influenced by how well couples can realize their family size goals, the extent to which preferred family size exceeds replacement-level fertility, and the age women begin childbearing in combination with birth spacing practices. Many, but not all, scientists and foreign policy experts are concerned about the impact of this growth on the environment and on natural resource allocation. Additional concerns are raised about the impact on economic development and sustainable development. In 1994, national academies of science from 58 countries issued an appeal for development of an integrated policy on world population and sustainable development. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) heeded that appeal and adopted a Program of Action (POA) in which more than 180 countries agreed to take certain actions to stabilize population growth and achieve sustainable development. Challenges to implementing the ICPD POA include 1) getting people to pay attention to global and national population issues, 2) overcoming the blocking tactics of some groups who did not agree with all of the POA's elements, 3) obtaining the necessary funding, and 4) overcoming the challenges to governments and the private sector posed by the necessity to create new partnerships between the two. Fortunately, the range of choices in the POA will allow each country to select the appropriate mix to overcome these constraints.
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  18. 18
    132674

    Our cities, our future: cities, interagency cooperation, and sustainable development.

    Eigen J

    HABITAT DEBATE. 1995 Nov; 1(3):1, 3-4.

    Cities are the most important sites of socioeconomic development, offering significant economies of scale in providing jobs, housing and services, and are important centers of productivity and social advancement. Cities also absorb two thirds of developing countries' population growth; the developing world's cities will absorb more than 75% of total world population increase during 1990-2000. Urban environmental problems, however, seriously threaten the full realization of cities' potential socioeconomic contributions. Environmental degradation has many costs, leads to significant inefficiencies in the use of local resources, compounds inequities, and threatens the sustainability of development achievements. Urban development and environmental management therefore cannot be considered separately. Actions in the city affect the environment, and the environment in turn affects the city. Agenda 21, a global agenda for cooperation which emerged from the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development emphasizing cross-sectoral coordination, the decentralization of decision making, and broad-based participatory approaches to development management, and the Sustainable Cities Program are discussed.
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  19. 19
    103216

    Attacking poverty. World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, Denmark, 6-12 March 1995.

    United Nations. Department of Public Information

    New York, New York, United Nations, Dept. of Public Information, 1994 Aug. 5, [1] p. (Backgrounder 2)

    Poverty affects individuals and families in every part of the world. Most of the very poor, 1.1 billion, however, live in the developing world, where they comprise one third of the population. The level of poverty has increased in recent years in both absolute and relative terms in Africa, Latin America, and the industrialized countries, but has declined in Asia. The condition impacts most heavily upon women, followed by the elderly and children. The reduction and elimination of poverty is one of three core issues to be addressed by heads of State or Government when they gather at the World Summit for Social Development, March 6-12, 1995, in Copenhagen, Denmark. This paper draws from a variety of sources, especially a report of the UN Secretary-General to the first meeting of the Summit Preparatory Committee held January 31 - February 11, 1994, to present an overview of the problem and examine the range of approaches being considered in advance of the summit. Sections consider poverty in the more developed countries, poverty and gender, poverty and population, political and social perils, poverty and the environment, and the role of the UN.
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  20. 20
    094994

    Introduction.

    Cook CC; Falloux F

    In: Involuntary resettlement in Africa. Selected papers from a conference on environment and settlement issues in Africa, edited by Cynthia C. Cook. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1994. 1-9. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 227; Africa Technical Department Series)

    Limited natural resources, growing population pressure, low levels of technology, and ineffective institutional support were said to account for Africa's development problems. The result was an increasing inability to balance human needs with agricultural production. While population growth is coming under control over the next 20 years, there will be increase need to improve spatial distribution of the population: movement from overused rural areas to urban areas or underused rural areas. Mobility in Africa may be nomadic or regular, temporary, periodic between different locations. There are migrant labor strategies, seasonal movements with herds, and permanent rural-urban migration. Migration may be voluntary or involuntary. This compendium of selected papers provides contributions from primarily African presenters to the October 1991 World Bank sponsored African Conference on Environment an Settlement. The introduction describes some of the challenges in Africa: demographic explosion, imbalances between natural resources and population distribution, and fragile tropical ecosystems. The organization of the compendium is explained: an overview of settlement issues; resettlement process in rural areas; resettlement in urban areas; and long-term impacts of resettlement in case projects financed by the World Bank (Kariba Dam project in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Akosombo Dam Project in Ghana, Kainji Lake resettlement in Nigeria, irrigation development in Kassala Province in Sudan and resettlement; lessons learned about voluntary movements in contrast between government sponsored and spontaneous settlement programs (ranch restructuring in Uganda, three settlement issues related to national park management in Uganda, pest control and elimination of river blindness in West Africa, and a theoretical approach and solution to the problem of population pressure on land); and a summary of conference proceedings and proposals for future action. Participants requested the World Bank to initiate and support efforts to secure assistance from the international donor community.
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  21. 21
    092136

    The greening of giving. Aid and the environment.

    ECONOMIST. 1994 Jan 7; 53-6.

    The intricacies of aid distribution and the impact on the environment are discussed in this article. Topics include routine environmental impact assessments (EIAs), the procedures for determining aid recipients, the interaction between national and local governments and donors, the impact of structural adjustment plans, and criticisms of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) managed by the World Bank. Aid programs have been criticized for not taking environmental impact into consideration in project planning; for increasing the wealth of the recipient country's elite or professional classes; and for improving foreign technologies and changing established practices. There is also a unifying position: promotion of sustainable development regardless of economic growth. The arguments center on whether a project assured sustainable development or nor or whether the environment was good for aid. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are in pivotal positions in environmental and development planning. In the US, NGOs act as watchdogs for "ungreen" activities of multilateral development banks. Their influence has positively affected activities of US AID, which routinely carries out EIAs. In 1989, the World Bank followed suit and now produces an annual environmental report. Most multilateral donors consider environmental impact at present. The objection now is that the EIAs stifle development or that development good may only be achieved with environmental harm. The way aid is given has been affected. Development programs that add an environmental component are easily accepted; for instance, a "run of the mill" power plant proposal with a strategy to improve air quality is likely to have support. There is more aid than the supply of projects. Collaborative projects are common. Capacity building is being encouraged, and investments are being made not in feasibility studies for waste disposal schemes but in designing management systems. Environmental policy must involve governments in determining priorities and developing environmental plans. Biodiversity plans are required, if the country signed the convention on biodiversity, for instance. Donor restrictions from above or secret UN project endorsements are not always well received in recipient countries; World Bank policies have indirectly impacted on the environment.
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  22. 22
    098594

    Cairo conference.

    McMichael AJ

    BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1994 Sep 3; 309(6954):554-5.

    The United Nations Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in September, 1994, will evoke criticism of the inability of governments to act quickly enough to avert demographic and environmental crises. Rapid population growth has clear implications for public health. Globally there now occur anthropogenic changes in atmospheric composition, the degradation of fertile lands and ocean fisheries, an accelerating loss of biodiversity, and the social and ecological problems of massive urbanization. In the future, per capita consumption levels will increase in burgeoning populations of developing countries, thus adding to the environmental impacts of overconsuming rich countries. By the end of the decade there will be over six billion people, of whom one half will live in cities. These demographic and environmental trends, if translated into climatic change, regional food shortages, and weakened ecosystems, would adversely affect human health. The World Health Organization is likely to concentrate only on accessible family planning and promotion of health for women and families. Continuing asymmetric child-saving aid, unaccompanied by substantial aid to help mobilize the social and economic resources needed to reduce fertility, may delay the demographic transition in poor countries and potentiate future public health disasters. As a result of recent reductions in fertility, even in Sub-Saharan Africa, average family sizes have been halved. Yet the demographic momentum will double population by 2050. The biosphere is a complex of ecosystems and, if unsustained, it could not fulfill the productive, cleansing, and protective functions on which life depends. The Cairo conference must therefore recognize that sustaining human health is a prime reason for concern about population growth and models of economic development.
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